McConnell assails Humana probe
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#1 Sep 24, 2009
#2 Sep 24, 2009
I oppose gag orders as a way to stifle information.
Unfortunately the comment from Humana that informed Humana Medicare enrollees that "if the proposed funding cut levels become law, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable." It encouraged customers to contact their members of Congress."
While Humana expresses its concerns that eliminating the 14% surcharge given to Medicare Advantage plans compared over and above the cost of standard Medicare Parts A and B “could” affect Humana benefits, the Humana position is in fact misleading. Humana did not say that the proposed legislation "would" result in Humana benefit reductions; it just says it "could" result in Humana benefit reductions.
The Humana information also intentionally refused to specify any particular level of reductions associated with ending the 14% surcharge given to Medicare Advantage plans by Medicare, even though Humana has thoroughly reviewed and priced all the various legislative options. I assume this is to keep Medicare Advantage enrollees very cranked up, but not very well informed. Humana enrollees do not know if benefits will be reduced a little or a lot, if at all.
Everyone is concerned about the facts concerning the costs of healthcare and the need for efficiency. Is it really efficient for Humana to offer and administer 18 different Medicare Advantage plans for the 67 counties in Florida? We know that the overhead costs to administer Medicare claim processing and payments are approximately 3%. Humana, like most of the private health insurers, does not consider it necessary to inform their enrollees as to the actual Humana costs for claim processing and payments, profits, and executive bonuses.
In short, I do not agree with gag orders. On the other hand it is hypocritical to oppose gag orders while claiming the right to intentionally refusing to release information that puts that allows us to compare the services, efficiencies, and costs of providing health insurance coverage; governmental or private.
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